SI Vault
Edited by Gay Flood
December 15, 1975
ON TOPSir:When I first saw the cover of your Dec. 1 issue I was angry and depressed. I thought surely your famous kiss of death had been placed on our beloved Hoosiers. But the No. 1 college basketball team of 1975-76 (and 1974-75) is too awesome to succumb to some silly superstition.JEFF WEISS Indianapolis
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December 15, 1975

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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In regard to the "Peace Conference" item in SCORECARD (NOV. 24), I can assure you that the IOC is in no way "all for the idea" of "direct supervision of the separate Olympic sports by a subcommittee of a higher sports authority."

I have received a letter from Lord Killanin, president of the IOC, in which he says his views are in accord with mine. He states that the USOC should be like all other national Olympic committees and consist of representatives of governing bodies directly affiliated with international federations.

I might also add that the IOC did not send Mr. Daume to the hearing. He appeared at the invitation of the President's Commission, presumably to say something it wanted to hear.
International Olympic Committee
Oyster Bay, N.Y.

My compliments on your article The Hunt to Save the Hunting (Nov. 24) and to Bruce Cowgill on his dedication to wildlife conservation. His efforts are needed and appreciated by many. I hope every county and state will join Mr. Cowgill's crusade and endorse a program of "Acres for Wildlife."
Cicero, Ill.

Your article on the risks of hang gliding (The Soaring Risk of Flying High, Nov. 24) certainly made readers aware that hang-glider pilots expose themselves to possible injury. It might have tried to put the risk in perspective by estimating the number of flights made in a year (two per week for each of 10,000 pilots comes out to more than one million) and giving more emphasis to the actions being taken to minimize injuries. No injuries have been recorded from the thousands of hang-gliding flights that have been made at Yosemite National Park, but in the time it has been allowed there eight people have been killed while rock climbing in that park.

Hang gliding is an individual activity that can be done anywhere, so it does not lend itself to governmental regulation, which would drive the individualists back into the hills, away from the knowledge they need to make them safe pilots. The only thing that will make hang gliding safer is communicating the lessons others have learned the hard way to all pilots and newcomers. This we in the U.S. Hang Gliding Association are trying to do in our monthly magazine Ground Skimmer and through our Hang Rating Program for pilots. More and more flying sites are now controlled by the local hang-gliding organizations and businesses, so that only pilots with the appropriate Hang Rating arc being allowed to fly from each launching point.

We have learned that the safe band of operating conditions for hang gliders is rather narrow, namely, wind between 5 mph and 20 mph, with gusts of less than 5 mph. Outside this range the risk increases significantly, so we urge pilots not to fly then.

Incidentally, the Third Annual U.S. National Hang Gliding Championships, held at Grandfather Mountain, Linville, N.C. were very successful. Dave Muehl of Inglewood, Calif. won the national champion's trophy. Top placers in the 1976 Nationals will comprise the U.S. team for the First World Hang Gliding Championships, to be held next September in Kossen, Austria.
Los Angeles

New Zealand miler John Walker holds the most distinguished record in the history of sport. He is truly the Sportsman of the Year.
Gainesville, Fla.

There can be no Sportsman of the Year 1975, only an Event of the Year and that is the World Series.
Franklin, Ohio

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